Oxfam has confirmed its Haverfordwest store will close because of ‘unsustainable building maintenance and running costs.’

When asbestos was found in the upper floors of the premises, it was reported that asbestos removal would cost £60,000.

Following an internal discussion within Oxfam, the store will shut after existing on the High Street since 1987.

An Oxfam spokesperson said: “We truly regret the shop in Haverfordwest is closing due to unsustainable building maintenance and ongoing high running costs: such decisions are always made with a heavy heart and are never taken lightly.

“We’d like to extend our deepest gratitude to our staff, volunteers and the local community who have generously supported Oxfam’s lifesaving work around the world.

“We hope they continue to support our vital work to build a fairer, more equal world, free from the injustice of poverty.”

The news comes after Oxfam volunteer Rosamund Aubrey criticised the shop closure despite allegedly making a yearly profit.

“Oxfam GB has decided to close its shop in Haverfordwest, despite it making a profit of £25k pa. The actual date hasn’t been decided, leaving managers Derrick and Mark in limbo," she said. 

“There will be a closing down sale with donated items initially sold at half price and then there will be a fire sale in order to clear the shop.

“This community asset is being closed for reasons beyond its control. The upper floors of the premises contain asbestos which must be removed, and the shop must bear the £60k+ cost, to be debited to the shop’s account in just one year, making it unprofitable.

“Management at Oxfam GB has known about the asbestos for some years and has kicked the problem down the road."

According to Rosamund, Oxfam are also unwilling to open a new store in a nearby area despite the shop’s value to the local community.

She added: “Derrick and Mark think moving to new premises is a better option; Oxfam GB would consider the relocation costs an investment which would have a five-year payback, but the shop would have to make £65k profit per annum.

“Oxfam claims that it would take two years to find another property, so the renovation work on the current premises would still have to be paid for.

“Derrick has identified several suitable premises in the town centre and Oxfam GB is aware of this.

“The shop sells an extensive range of high-quality donated clothes and accessories, as well as homeware, Fairtrade food, gifts, and greetings cards.

“The bookshop is the largest second-hand bookshop in Pembrokeshire with high quality books and music across all genres.”